Expressed emotion in first-episode schizophrenia and in ultra high-risk patients: results from the Programma2000 (Milan, Italy).
ABSTRACT Expressed emotion (EE) was examined in a large sample of families of patients with either first-episode psychosis (FEP) within the schizophrenia spectrum, or who met the criteria for ultra high-risk (UHR) of psychosis. The aim of our study was to determine the patterns and relationship of EE with the duration of untreated illness (DUI) or of untreated psychosis (DUP), as well as with illness severity. The sample used in our study included 77 FEP and 66 UHR families. The Camberwell Family Interview was used to assess EE. In both samples, about one-third of patients' families were classified as high EE, with emotional over-involvement (EOI) being the most frequent reason for a family to be classified as high EE. In FEP, higher EE correlated with longer DUI, and higher paternal EOI with longer DUP. DUI, however, was not found to correlate to EE in UHR patients. Severity of illness at the initial assessment did not relate to EE in either FEP or UHR families. Families of FEP and UHR patients were not found to differ in terms of the prevalence of a high EE rating, or of any of its subcomponents. The results of this study only partially support the hypothesis that high EE develops as a reaction to patient status. Patients from families with high EE could possibly benefit from interventions that are targeted at improving their resilience when dealing with problematic family environments.
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ABSTRACT: Carer burden is high during First Episode Psychosis (FEP) and evidence suggests that this is a predictor of poor long-term outcome. However our understanding of factors associated with higher burden is poor. We propose that carers' cultural backgrounds and health belief models will influence their perceived burden of care, over and above that explained by severity of illness.BMC Psychiatry 06/2014; 14(1):171. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: From the first descriptions of schizophrenia has been suspected the contribution of the family to the establishment and course of the disease. In the second half of the 20th century the concept of Expressed emotion emerged as referring the prevalent style of family communication. High expressed emotion, determined by high levels of criticism, hostility or emotional over-involvement towards the patient, is recognized as one of the best environmental predictors of relapse in schizophrenia. It has been investigated potential factors associated with expressed emotion, including characteristics of the patient, family, of the disease, culture, etc. Family interventions decrease the number of relapses by the reduction of emotional expression, stress and family burden. The model of community-based healthcare in severe mental disorder must involve commitment to provide the family of the patient of the necessary tools to deal with the disease in a dignified manner.Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría. 12/2012; 32(116):739-756.
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ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to investigate possible differences in family environment among patients experiencing their First Episode of Psychosis (FEP), chronic patients and controls. Family cohesion and flexibility (FACES-IV) and psychological distress (GHQ-28) were evaluated in families of 50 FEP and 50 chronic patients, as well as 50 controls, whereas expressed emotion (FQ) and family burden (FBS) were assessed in families of FEP and chronic patients. Multivariable linear regression analysis, adjusted for confounders, indicated impaired cohesion and flexibility for families of FEP patients compared to controls, and lower scores for families of chronic patients compared to those of FEP patients. Caregivers of chronic patients scored significantly higher in criticism, and reported higher burden and psychological distress than those of FEP patients. Our findings suggest that unbalanced levels of cohesion and flexibility, high criticism and burden appeared to be the outcome of psychosis and not risk factors triggering the onset of the illness. Furthermore, emotional over-involvement both in terms of positive (i.e. concern) and negative behaviors (i.e. overprotection) is prevalent in Greek families. Psychoeducational interventions from the early stages of the illness should be considered to promote caregivers׳ awareness regarding the patients׳ illness, which in turn, may ameliorate dysfunctional family interactions.Psychiatry Research 06/2014; 219:486-496. · 2.68 Impact Factor